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Disneyland’s reopens Toontown with inclusive design


Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Clarabelle, Goofy, Pluto and Pete stand outside Mickey’s house in the refurbished Toontown at Disneyland.

Disney

Parkgoers at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, will finally be able to return to Mickey’s Toontown this weekend after a yearlong closure for refurbishment.

The cartoon-inspired land has long been a haven for Disney’s younger park guests, offering character meet-and-greets with the likes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, as well as kid-friendly coasters and play areas.

The reimagined Toontown honors the space that first opened in 1993, keeping existing structures like Mickey and Minnie’s houses in tact, albeit with a paint touch-up. But there’s also quite a bit of new infrastructure for kids to explore — with an eye toward inclusivity.

At its core, Toontown’s revamp is all about intention. Imagineers have designed a space for all kids, crafting accessible play spaces, plus quiet areas and shady spots so that its youngest parkgoers have a place to exert their pent-up energy or decompress.

The redesigned land, which opens to the public March 19, is entirely wheelchair accessible, including its slides, and is visually and auditorily approachable for kids who are easily overwhelmed by loud or bright sensory stimuli. The entire land has been repainted in softer colors, and some areas feature more subdued, spa-like musical scores.

“We want every child to know that when they came to this land that this land was designed for them,” said Jeffrey Shaver-Moskowitz, executive portfolio producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. “That they were seen, and that this place was welcoming to them.”

Shaver-Moskowitz said the Imagineers spent time looking at children’s museums and water play spaces to see how kids engage and developed different stations throughout the land to cater to different types of play patterns.

“We know a day at Disneyland can be hectic and chaotic, running from one attraction to another, one reservation to the next,” he said. “We wanted Toontown to not only be exciting, but also decompressing and relaxing and welcoming.”

With that in mind, the Imagineers have introduced more green spaces within the land, places to have picnics, sit and unwind, or play freely.

“We really wanted to take a look at Toontown, knowing how important it was for so many of our guests for many generations growing up and the so many memories here that are connected to the land, and make sure we don’t lose any of that,” Shaver-Moskowitz said. “But, bring a lot of new magic.”

‘Thinking of every single guest’

When guests enter the new Toontown, they will pass through Centoonial Park. The area is anchored by a large fountain, featuring Mickey and Minnie, as well as water tables for kids to dip their hands into, and the “dreaming tree.”

The live tree was selected from the Disney property for its cartoonish limbs and leaves. Around the trunk are sculpted roots that kids can climb over, crawl under and weave through.

“One of…



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Disneyland’s reopens Toontown with inclusive design

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